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Grantee Spotlight: Catherine’s Health Center Emily’ Story

Emily (not her real name) is 62 years old. For the past 4 years she has been getting her screening mammograms at CHC under our BCCCP program. Her mammograms have always been normal which was a great relief to Emily because she is the care giver for her husband who had a stroke 18 years ago. This year when she was contacted for her annual screening our Navigator told Emily that she was eligible for coverage under Medicaid expansion. In January we helped her to get enrolled in the healthy Michigan plan. When it was time for her annual screening mammogram in April her CBE was normal as in the past. However, this time her mammogram was not. There was a mass noted in her right breast. She had a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound and biopsies that indicted she had Stage IIA, Triple negative invasive mammary carcinoma. Because she had lymph node involvement both in the right breast and axilla the team determined that she should also have an MRI. Because she now had insurance, the costs were covered. It was discovered that she also had a mass in the left breast. This one was DCIS. We were able to get Emily set up with the multidisciplinary breast team at the Lemmon-Holton Cancer Center. One of her greatest concerns was who would take care of her husband while she would need chemo, a bilateral mastectomy and all the rest of her care after that. The Case manager at the center was able to consult with her family who live across the country and help Emily and her husband connect with senior services who will be able to provide respite care for her husband and assist her with her needs during chemo and post op. Emily has just completed her first round of chemo and is progressing well. The doctor tells her that her prognosis is good.
We don’t know yet how Emily’s story will end. We do know that if we did not have the Navigation program that Avon funds help support, we may not have had the programs in place to make sure that Emily’s cancer was diagnosed early and to help her access the support she needs to be able to concentrate on her recovery.

A Grantee's Perspective

Chenango Health Network has received grant funding from the NYS Avon Breast Health Outreach Program for many years. AVON BHOP support has enabled our agency to conduct our Every Woman Counts in Chenango County Campaign, which motivates, encourages and supports hundreds of women who live in this rural upstate county to be screened for breast cancer and receive necessary treatment and support. Read More